Year after year, one of the great debates in the region has been whether the Redskins should relocate the team’s headquarters and training facility and leave Ashburn.
Thursday’s news from Gov. Bob McDonnell made clear that the team plans to stay put at Redskins Park.
On the down side, Northern Virginians accustomed to watching the team during its summer training program will have to head south to Richmond starting in 2013.
Below are some of the details about the announcement, but Patch would like to hear from you.
What do you think about the HQ staying in Ashburn, and what do you think about training camp in Richmond?
The announcement means Virginia can continue to reap the benefits of the only national sports franchise located here. More than 1,800 jobs are attributed directly or indirectly to the team, as well as $200 million in annual economic activity, providing nearly $10 million in state and local revenue, according to information provided from McDonnell’s office.
The expansion of the Ashburn facility is expected to support nearly 400 jobs during construction and nearly $53 million in economic activity. The existing HQ supports, directly and indirectly, 350 jobs and generates $2.2 million in state and local revenue. More than 20,000 people visit the headquarters each year.
"Virginia considers the Redskins our team,” McDonnell said. “The team is based here. The team trains here. The players live here. Virginia is committed to keeping the Redskins right here in our state for years to come, and today we've taken a significant step towards accomplishing that goal.”
Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan said in comments released from the team that he looks forward to the improved training site in Ashburn. The Redskins inflated a practice bubble on the site in earlier this year to facilitate workouts during the winter and poor weather.
“You always want a state-of-the-art facility,” he said. “The same thing with the weight room, you want a state-of-the-art weight room, you want a state-of-the-art media room, the technology that some of these news teams have and we want to have that ability as well. So, we want free agents to come in and say, ‘Hey, you’ve got a great facility. I can see me coming here and getting to be a better football player,' and obviously we grow as an organization.”
Virginia has committed $4 million over the next two years to help with the summer camp move as well as the training facility expansion. According to the Washington Post, with money promised from Loudoun and Richmond, the team expects to receive about $6.4 million in incentives to stay put.